We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark boxes for toys, and playing with lasers and baking soda (there may or may not be baking soda permanently mashed into the carpet). The kids have a great time, and the parents are happy for the free babysitting for half an hour.
Along with all the fun aspects of conducting research, we have also learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes work of what actually goes on. In Developmental Psychology research it is difficult to recruit participants, so we have been sending many emails, creating ads, and maintaining social media accounts (shameless plug: if you know any five year olds, please send them our way!). On days we don’t have children coming in, we are entering data into the computer, transferring videos, and coming up with new ways to test our hypothesis. One thing we have really learned is the importance of trial and error. At the moment, we are redesigning the study to better manipulate our intended variables.
In addition to our regular day to day work, last week we had the opportunity to do an Instagram takeover for the Friargram account. We were able to show people our lab, our favorite spots to eat lunch, and even a trip to Home Depot to buy supplies. It was a great way to show people what it is that we do, and hopefully show future student researchers what a fantastic opportunity it is.
For the upcoming weeks, we have several things to look forward to. Soon we will be bringing our study into a preschool! This will allow us to collect a lot of data in a short amount of time. However, it will also be difficult, and we need to make some modifications to the study to make sure it’s applicable (we have nightmares of five year olds running around shining lasers in each other’s eyes). Also, we are looking forward to the Annual RI SURF Conference. SURF, or the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, is a place where students can come together with other researchers and guests to share their summer work. We are excited to present what we are doing, and also see what other students are up to. Being involved in the sciences is a great way to learn through community.
Until next time!
The Kid Think Team
Hi friends! We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark […]MORE
We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab.
Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as a kindergarten teaching assistant and is excited to work in the lab this summer doing a study with kindergarteners!
Emily is a rising senior psychology major with a history minor. She is from Massachusetts and hopes to one day become a speech and language pathologist. She worked this past semester as an intern at the Groden Center, which is a school for children with autism. She looks forward to this summer in the lab and starting her own research project in the fall.
Caitlin is a rising senior psychology major with a French minor in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is from New York and loves working with children – having spent time as a nanny and summer camp counselor. She enjoyed taking “Experimental Developmental Psychology” with Dr. Van Reet this past spring and is delighted to work in the lab for the summer doing research.
This summer we look forward to continuing the Caplan study that we have been working on this year. This study is a joint research project with Dr. Van Reet of the psychology department and Dr. Zhang of the education department. The study focuses on investigating the effectiveness of play and guidance in early science learning. We are looking forward to finding new fun ways to recruit participants for our study and can’t wait to have more kindergarteners come in and participate!
We are so excited for the summer in the Kid Think Lab!
-The Kid Think Team
Hello! We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab. Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as […]MORE
It’s a sad time here at Kid Think as we wrap up our 10 weeks of work (and blog posts). We have had a successful last half of our summer. We played with the kids at the Summer Concert Series at Fargnoli Park in Providence and made more chalk with them. We were glad we had an opportunity to give back to the community again after they helped us with our research all summer long! We had a great time enjoying the West African drumming band that was playing while we made the chalk with the children.
On Friday, we took a trip to Salve Regina University to attend the SURF Undergraduate Experience Day and Picnic. They had some speakers talk about graduate school applications and provided a BBQ lunch. We have never been to Salve Regina, so it was so cool to check out the beautiful mansions and walk the Cliff Walk. Afterward, we headed to downtown Newport and treated ourselves to Rhode Island’s famous Del’s Frozen Lemonade. It was perfect weather, and we were happy to spend a Friday down in Newport! Undergraduate research definitely has it perks!
Another Friday, one of the biology research advisors, Dr. Wan, provided a delicious BBQ chicken wing lunch at his house. All those who went would tell you it was impossible to eat just one wing — they were so good! Between the wings, half-priced lunch at the Abbey, $1 coffees at LaSalle on Wednesdays, and buy one, get one Awful Awfuls at Newport Creamery on Mondays, and buy one, get one sandwiches at Geoff’s on Tuesdays, participating in research at PC has allowed us to explore a lot of the great food Providence has to offer. Staying at PC for the summer is definitely worth it!
On the last day of our 10-week program we attended the 8th Annual Rhode Island SURF Conference. This was it! Our entire summer of research led up to this day. In the weeks before, we wrote and rewrote abstracts to submit for the conference, as well as created posters to present. On Friday, July 31st, we packed up our posters and headed down to the University of Rhode Island. The conference was a great success. We had so much fun explaining our work and research to anyone that stopped by our posters. Even the governor came to the conference! It was cool to see the other research that hundreds of other students worked on this summer. So many students were so proud to present their work, and it was a great way to wrap up the summer.
This summer at Kid Think has been a great one. We tested more than 50 (that’s right, 50!) children in our lab, as well as in the Mind Lab at the Providence Children’s Museum. We have had a great time learning from Dr. Van Reet and are excited to continue working in Kid Think in the fall semester. We look forward to thinking up new research ideas and learning through play!
We would like to thank our faculty mentor, Dr. Jennifer Van Reet, for all the wonderful learning opportunities she presented to us this summer. We are so grateful for all that we learned this summer, as well as all the fun that we had in the Kid Think Lab.
We hope everyone has a great rest of their summer! Thank you for reading!
The Kid Think Team – Emma, Jamie, & Mikaila
It’s a sad time here at Kid Think as we wrap up our 10 weeks of work (and blog posts). We have had a successful last half of our summer. We played with the kids at the Summer Concert Series at Fargnoli Park in Providence and made more chalk with them. We were glad we […]MORE
We’re at the half-way point of our summer here at Kid Think and we have had an eventful past few weeks. On Saturday, June 20th we set up a tent at the Hope Street Farmer’s Market as a way to give back to the community. We brainstormed for weeks leading up to the market trying to decide what would be a good craft for the kids. We ultimately decided on do-it-yourself chalk. We experimented the whole week leading up to that day trying to figure out what was the best recipe and what was the easiest way for children to help. We were so excited to make chalk with the kids!
The weather ended up being great that Saturday morning and we eagerly set up camp waiting for the kids to roll in. The DIY chalk ended up being a great success. We helped more than 50 kids make chalk of all different colors and gave them Kid Think goodie bags to take home. It was nice to get some recruiting done at the same time! Lots of parents were curious about what we do here at Kid Think and were happy to register their children. Overall, it was a great way to get our name out there in the Providence community.
As for here in the lab, we continue to set up appointments and have children come in to play with us. So far, we have tested more than 30 children this summer. With most of the kids out of school for the summer, we have become a fun spot for parents to bring their children as a summer activity. In addition to children coming in for appointments, we have been helping our faculty advisor, Dr. Jennifer Van Reet, brainstorm ideas for possible new studies and grants we would like apply for. Some possibilities include making modifications to a previous study looking at children learning through “Fantasy versus Reality” and creating a study to learn more about guided play versus free play for children. We are excited about the future and we are already excited for the fall!
Next up on the calendar we have another community event at Fargnoli Park where we plan on making chalk again and hanging out with children at the summer concert series there! It’s been an exciting time here at Kid Think and we cannot wait for this last half of the summer!
Until Next Time!
The Kid Think Team
Hi Friends! We’re at the half-way point of our summer here at Kid Think and we have had an eventful past few weeks. On Saturday, June 20th we set up a tent at the Hope Street Farmer’s Market as a way to give back to the community. We brainstormed for weeks leading up to the […]MORE
It’s week three here at Kid Think, and we are getting settled in the lab! There are three research assistants working here for 10 weeks this summer. Emma is a rising senior psychology student with a business minor. Mikaila is a double psychology and history major. And lastly, Jamie is a psychology major and business minor. We enjoy studying psychology and all hope to continue our studies in psychology after we graduate from Providence College.
During the 10 weeks, we will be running two studies. The first study is titled “Factors Influencing Children’s Causal Learning” and tests children three to five years of age. This study examines whether or not children can learn through pretend play. Children are presented with a pretend machine and are given the chance to apply the information they learn from that pretend machine to real life afterward. The second study is funded through a program at URI. This study, Comprehension of Pretense, or the “Toddler Study,” as we call it, is made up of games for 18-24 months old–testing their understanding of pretend play and their self-control. The kids are all so cute to work with, and we love having them come in for appointments!
On Thursday mornings we go to the Providence Children’s Museum and run their “Mind Lab.” From 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we walk around the museum and invite families into the lab. If children are eligible to participate in our studies, we play the games with them and, afterward, they get to pick out a prize! We love going to the museum to see a new set of children every week! We also enjoy playing with the toys there just like the kids.
We are looking forward to a summer filled with play!
Over and out,
The Kid Think Team
Hey Friends! It’s week three here at Kid Think, and we are getting settled in the lab! There are three research assistants working here for 10 weeks this summer. Emma is a rising senior psychology student with a business minor. Mikaila is a double psychology and history major. And lastly, Jamie is a psychology major […]MORE